Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sister Olga's Licensed -- New ISP 10/14/08

Sister Olga's Licensed -- New ISP 

Weather Report:
Heavy clouds, rain at times, Low 5c Hi 15c

First a welcome to new followers Larry from New Castle, Nancy from Sacramento and Kathy from Albuquerque. Thanks for joining the GrampaDoug clan.

Getting a driver's license has been a real challenge for Sister Olga, our visa clerk and general fix-it person. She has been taking driving lessons for some time and passed the written test weeks ago. Now she had to do the "behind the wheel" test with an instructor in the front seat and a policeman in the back seat; intimidation!

Olga is a great friend of everyone in the office and is very responsive to any needs we lay on her desk. As a result, we were all praying for her to pass her driving test; EACH TIME.

Yep. She had to take the driving portion three times and each time she did not pass; she, and we, were very disappointed. Those were dark days with Olga looking very sad and all of us in the office trying to cheer her up.

The process is difficult because one gets no driving experience unless one is paying an instructor to drive around with one. One ends up paying through one's nose at multiple hundreds of rubles per hour and one cannot practice otherwise. When one finally decides to take the practicum, one must be prepared to withstand the pressure of a policeman at one's back giving instructions as to where to drive and one's instructor's hand periodically grasping for one's steering wheel when one makes a false move like when Olga didn't stop for a LOL (little old lady) who was standing at the cross-walk waiting to cross and she didn't stop to let her cross.

That one, the one that failed one, got a real laugh at the office. NO ONE EVER stops to let one cross the street even if one has a green "walk" light. If one does not watch carefully, one can be a hood ornament the rest of one's life. To fail Olga for not stopping is like failing her for starting the car.

Well, anyway, after three tries, Olga came into the office looking like the cat that ate the canary. When asked how she did, she shouted, "I passed" and we all congratulated her. She accompanied us shopping that afternoon and I bought some celebratory ice cream and we had a party on Friday when she brought in her license to show us.

This was a little touchy because Yulia, the 20-something accountant is also taking her driving test and is also not passing for a variety of reasons, but she joined in the fun and we all celebrated. Here, Elder Worthen is trying to decide which scoop of ice cream is the largest. It took him a considerable time, but he finally settled on one in the mid-size range.

We also had day-old New York Pizza left over from the Zone Conference the day before so our party had a variety to choose from. There is nothing like cold (or nuked) mushroom and sausage pizza washed down with pineapple juice followed by a scoop of Russian strawberry ice cream.

Actually, Russian ice cream is some of the best I've eaten. It has no preservatives, no propylene glycol, and containing real fruit. It is a real temptation for an ice cream lover; right Trisha? Russia has some wonderful things to experience. They do without a lot and what they have often does not work. Our task is to forget what's not here and enjoy what is. We will be going to the ballet twice in November which will make three times in this trip. I haven't been to the ballet three times in my life. Bloom where you are planted. Stand close together and lift.

What a country.


Shannon Simmons said...

love it! I want some ice cream now! Yum. Sounds like things are going great. A big congrats to sister Ulga.

Dave and Courtney said...

I remember New York Pizza! That's funny that you go there. That is the first, and ONLY, pizza I have ever had with baby corn and peas on it. YUCK! Good old Russian versions of American traditions!

Trisha said...

You remembered. That was the best food I had over there. A close second was the borcht and the stuffed grape leaves. Thanks for all the updates love to hear from you.

Nancy Farrimond said...

I remember Chicago pizza. Chicago
has some the best pizza I have ever
tasted. I'm sending my congrats to
Sister Ulga for getting her drivers